European hiking trip in July - where to go?
March 21, 2011 8:20 AM   Subscribe

I'm trying to plan a 5-7 days of easy, scenic hiking in Europe, mid July. Accommodations provided. Where's the best place to go? Qualifying statements inside...

tl,dr - looking for pretty, less touristy, good weather, ok for heights, needs accomodations, fairly easy. Hoping for specific routes.

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My wife and I are flying in and out of Turkey at the beginning and end of July, respectively. We're hoping do some interesting city and country travel, and sandwich some hiking/trekking in the middle. However, we have a few qualifications:

1. Weather is important to us, as is beautiful scenery and smaller crowds. For example, we've heard that the Alps are gorgeous and the weather is beautiful, but it is packed, whereas some more southern European countries are not as pretty, but much quieter. We're looking for a good balance on the above 3 issues, with natural beauty winning out over the other two.

2. I have a bit of a fear of heights - so, I could trek most places pretty easily, including big uphills and downhills. However, I'm not a big fan of sheer drops around 10-15 feet from where I am standing. For the record, I've done the Atlas (Morocco), high up in Petra (Jordan) and Patagonia (Argentina) with no problem.

3. We need a place with accomodations. We are thinking some hut-to-hut travels, but are very much open to suggestion. If there was a way to minimize carrying of bags, that would be a plus as well.

4. It'll be my wife's first major hiking trip, so I'm looking for something a bit more on the easy side.

We're considering anything from the Alps to the Pyrenees, Corsica or Sardinia, but anything a bit more out of the norm would also be appreciated. If you had one particular route that fits the bill, that would be great as well.

As well, if you have any good trekking resources (in English), we'd love to hear about them. Thanks!
posted by evadery to Travel & Transportation (2 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I think you should go to the Alps. They are indeed gorgeous, and the weather is beautiful, and I don't think the crowds will be as bad as you fear. Some places will be packed in July, but not everywhere. And there are lots of hut-to-hut options. As for bags, at least in Switzerland they have a nice rail baggage forwarding service. I've only been to Switzerland, so I can't tell you much about the other countries, but if you don't want crowds you will probably want to avoid Interlaken and Zermatt for sure (I loved Zermatt anyway, but it's super-touristy and on a nice day in summer the trails get very crowded).

I really enjoyed/found useful the Lonely Planet book "Walking In Switzerland" which is out-of-print but not hard to obtain and not terribly out of date. Cicerone has loads of guide to the Alps. Buy a few, or check a few out of the library, and see if something strikes your fancy.
posted by mskyle at 11:02 AM on March 21, 2011

I did a very nice hike along Hadrian's Wall in the north of England at that time of year. It's hilly but not mountainous. The National Trail hike guide has landmarks and B&B suggestions. If you finished it early, you could do some additional hiking in the Lake District ... just rent a car and drive over, or take a bus.
posted by amber_dale at 11:49 AM on March 21, 2011

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